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John Beddington

London, UK
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UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser (2008-2013)

Director of UK Government Foresight team tasked to look forward 10-40 years at future global challenges

Senior Advisor to Oxford Martin School, Oxford University

Sir John Beddington was Chief Scientific Advisor to the British Government and Head of the Government Office for Science from 2008 to 2013. In this role he reported directly to the Prime Minister and Cabinet. His responsibility was to provide expert advice on all scientific and technological matters and head the Science and Engineering Profession in Government.

Sir John directed the Foresight team, the policy and planning group that helps the government think systematically about the most critical global future trends. He directed reports on the Future of Identity (2013); Computer Trading in Financial Markets (2012); Migration and Global Environmental Change (2011); International Dimensions of Climate Change (2011); Global Food and Farming Future (2011); Land Use Futures (2010); Mental Capital and Wellbeing (2008); Sustainable Energy Management and the Built Environment (2008).

Sir John has also chaired the National Security Council Science Advisory Group and provided underpinning advice on the UK National Risk Register. Chairing the Science Advisory Group in Emergencies he reported directly into the COBR Committee, and shaped the response to the pandemic influenza outbreak (2009), disruption to flights from volcanic ash (2010) and the Japanese tsunami and its effect upon nuclear plants in Fukushima (2011).

Sir John has worked internationally on a number of high level commissions, working closely with Japan, Russia, the USA and organisations such as the World Bank.

Our Comment

"Sir John is one of the UK’s best communicators of science with experience on a range of far reaching issues. He gives excellent insight into long term trends and risks that will effect planning and life at all levels across the world."

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